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Upcoming Programs Address Race Relations, Protests

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Arkansas PBS is addressing race relations and protests in the state and beyond in special programming beginning Friday, June 5, at 7:30 p.m. with the network’s flagship public affairs program, “Arkansas Week.”

Host Steve Barnes and guests will discuss race relations as anger and despair – and a demand for change – spread across Arkansas and the world. Judge Wiley Branton, Jr. of the Sixth Judicial Circuit; Dianne Curry, president of the Little Rock chapter of the NAACP; and Scott Hamilton, interim CEO and president of the Urban League of the State of Arkansas Inc. will join the discussion.

“Arkansas Week,” hosted by veteran journalist Steve Barnes, highlights experts discussing issues of concern to Arkansans. “Arkansas Week” airs on Arkansas PBS each Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. and is broadcast Saturday mornings at 5:30 a.m. on KUAR FM 89.1. Episodes are also available at, and viewers may sign up for program updates at

Arkansas PBS is also producing a special public affairs program centered around race, racism and the protests happening across the nation to premiere Thursday, June 11. Viewers are encouraged to submit comments and questions for the discussion by Tuesday, June 9, at

Immediately following “Arkansas Week” Friday, June 5, at 8 p.m. will be “Race Matters: America in Crisis: A PBS NewsHour Special.” Anchored by managing editor Judy Woodruff, the special will include contributions from “PBS NewsHour” senior national correspondent Amna Nawaz, White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor and special correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault.

“Race Matters: America in Crisis” will focus on the frustration pouring out onto American streets, outrage about police brutality, and America’s deep systemic racial disparities in the economy, education, criminal justice system and health care, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will also include grassroots voices from around the country and roundtable conversations of thought leaders, newsmakers and experts.

Reporting on race in America and solutions to race matters has been a long-standing commitment at PBS NewsHour. Launched initially in 2015, NewsHour’s “Race Matters” series explores race, diversity, and intolerance from varying corners and circumstances in our country, on broadcast and online.

Families and educators looking for resources to talk to children and help them learn about race, racism, protesting, civil rights, Black history and historical individuals, bias, news, current events and more can access free content from Arkansas PBS LearningMedia (

Additionally, CNN and “Sesame Street” will partner for a town hall to help children and parents deal with issues surrounding race Saturday, June 6, at 9 a.m. on CNN. The special, “Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism,” will be hosted by CNN’s Van Jones and Erica Hill, along with the “Sesame Street” Muppets. The special will provide information and tools for families to talk to their children about racism, the nationwide protests, embracing diversity and being more empathetic and understanding.